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Blogging is a do-or-die kind of thing for any business now
30 Minute A Day Blog P.R.O.M.O.
Blogging is a do-or-die kind of thing for any business now.
Just look at what management guru Tom Peters said about blogging in front of hundreds of people:
“I will simply say, my first post was in August of 2004. No single thing in the last 15 years professionally has been more important to my life than blogging.”
These are NOT random words.
It’s not coincidence that tens and thousands of people all around the world made money, got expert status, and maybe found their lifes’ passion through blogging.
However, it is a known fact that just writing a blog isn’t enough. “Set it and people will come” approach proved to be wrong years ago and you need to proactively promote your blog.
I’ll show you my P.R.O.M.O. Formula – which, if you apply, won’t take more than 30 minutes of your time each day:
P – PARTICIPATE at Forums
R – RECYCLE Posts as Ezine Articles,
O – ORGANIZE a Joint Venture
M – MAKE Viral Content
O – OBTAIN A Guest Spot On A Blog
PARTICIPATE at Forums
Regardless of what niche you’re in, posting on forums can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using your blog to give people marketing tips or tell them how to buy a car, there’s a forum for you!
If you’re willing to find those forums and follow the five steps I’m going outline, your blog will benefit richly.
Step #1: Pick Forums
Before you do anything else, you should head to http://www.big-boards.com and construct a list of promising forums. Use the “browse” feature to locate forums that fall within your niche or that are related to your niche.
As you go through this process, you may want to open up a spreadsheet to keep track of your findings. You should make note of these details for each forum:
- URL (address of the forum)
- the primary focus of the forum
- the total post number
- the total member count
These numbers are all listed on Big Boards.
Tip: Optionally, you may also go to alexa to look up traffic statistics for each forum.
In addition to collecting hard data on each forum, you will also want to visit each of the ones you’ve added to your list.
At a first glance, see what you can learn about the general demeanor of the forum; and also try to discern how active it is. In general, you will want to focus on forums where people are generally positive and helpful; and where there is a high-degree of participation.
Finally, using both your spreadsheet data and the notes you’ve jotted down about each forum, decide which ones you’ll visit regularly and post on.
Tip: As a general rule of thumb, it is better to concentrate on a few very good forums, rather than spreading yourself thin over many.
Please Tell Us
Do You Visit Forums
Create a Signature File
Once you’ve selected a number of forums to post on regularly, you must next create a signature file to use on each of them.
The idea here is to use something interesting or intriguing to draw the attention of other forum browsers and to then redirect them to your blog.
Usually, a signature file is between one and five lines of text and is accompanied by a link. Some forums will permit you to use different colors and fonts.
Note: Some forums have strict rules on the total number of lines, color use, etc. Be sure to check the signature rules of each forum first.
What you place in your signature file is ultimately up to your own discretion; however, I suggest that you keep it professional, but make sure you surround your link with some intriguing text, so that viewers will be encouraged to read your blog.
Tip: What will you put in your signature to promote your blog? There are a few options:
- Latest blog post’s title
- One of the most popular blog post’s title
- Title and slogan (if any) of your blog
Post, Post, and Post Again!
You’ve now selected forums and have created signature files. Getting traffic is now a product of two things:
1) Building a reputation on those forums.
2) Getting people on those forums to view your signature file as frequently as possible.
The first part will only come from a concerted effort to provide valuable content for forum members.
This means that you will NOT ONLY have to post frequently, but you will also have to provide high-quality, detailed information that others can use constructively. It also means that you should avoid bickering, complaining, or entering into a flame war that could make you seem amateurish or unstable.
In short, maintain an effort to both increase your post count and increase your post quality continuously. These two things will ensure that you become a respected member of the forum.
A Useful Video
Participating in forums is a great way to grow the ranks of your blog subscribers, visitors, and commenters. Just remember to create an attractive, compelling signature file, and to follow the basic guidelines I’ve outlined here.
Consider Becoming a Moderator
If you get the chance to become a moderator on a respected forum, do it.
There may be a few situations in which this isn’t a good idea, but overwhelmingly, it will be.
Forum visitors pay attention to and respect people who are moderators. And when they observe moderators participating and posting, they are far more likely to want to learn more about them – perhaps by following a signature file to their blog.
Track Your Results
As with all things in marketing, your prospects of success are poor if you don’t know what works and what doesn’t. This holds true here, too.
If you don’t know which forums are driving traffic to your blog, then you don’t how best to use your time. You may be spending a great deal of time on one particular forum, thinking that it is giving you results, but in fact, your traffic is coming from somewhere else.
This is why it is important to pay attention to the traffic statistics on your blog, so that you can determine where your traffic is coming from; and concentrate your efforts there.
RECYCLE Posts as Ezine Articles
If you blog regularly, you have probably accumulated a massive collection of posts on a variety of subjects. A mere 2-3 posts per week will amount to well over 100 posts in a year.
If you haven’t realized it already, these posts amount to a massive pile of gold, and it’s time to cash it in.
In the remainder of part 2, I will explain exactly how you can do this in four steps.
Convert Your Entries into Articles
Blog posts are typically shorter, less-refined, and less complete than full articles. This means that it is usually a bad idea to pull posts from your blog and submit them to article directories.
Here is what you can do instead:
1. You may want to begin by taking all of your blog entries and copying-and-pasting them into to separate Word or .TXT files. This doesn’t get you anywhere yet, but it’s a step in the right direction.
2. Next, you will need to select the order in which you will edit and use them. You don’t need to put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into this part. Instead, simply organize the articles in terms of whether they are likely to make a good article without significant modifications. And then begin the process with the most promising entries.
3. Next, make the blog entries more formal. Give them a proper introduction and conclusion; and remove them from the context of your blog. In short, re-write the articles, so that someone who knows nothing about your blog can appreciate them.
4. Once you have completed the initial editing, work through the blog entries one last time to eliminate grammatical and spelling errors, to improve the stylistic components of the writing, and to ensure that your new articles read clearly and professionally.
Add Your Articles to Directories
As soon as you have created 3-5 high-quality articles from your blog content, it is time to start submitting them to article directories.
When you do this, your blog will benefit in two ways:
1. It will benefit by getting backlinks from high PR sites (namely, article directories).
2. It will benefit from the direct click-through traffic from the article to your blog.
As far as directories go, you may prefer to start with the following five:
In addition to these five, there are hundreds of others; however, each additional submission is likely to be lower-value, as the quality and longevity of many of the other directories is questionable.
For a fuller list of article directories, go to seoresearcher
Remember, for each submission, it is likely that you will have to format it and edit it to fit the particular directory’s guidelines. For this reason, it may be wise to limit submissions to 3-5 top sites and instead, focus your time on making sure that each of those submissions is successful.
Step #3: Allow Your Affiliates to Distribute the Articles
Another beneficial way in which you can use your recycled content is to give it away to members of your affiliate program. At first, this might seem pointless or counterintuitive, but in practice, it can be quite useful.
Your affiliates can use this content in many different ways:
- They can alter it and submit it to directories.
- They can post it on their sites and blogs to generate traffic and to channel existing traffic into a sales funnel that may eventually result in more purchases of your products.
With all of this said, the most important things to consider are how you will distribute the content to affiliates; and what restrictions you will place on it.
I personally suggest that you tackle these problems by:1. Creating a page for your affiliates, so that they can download all relevant promotional materials for your products, including these articles.
2. Including a license file with the articles that explains what they can and cannot use them for.
Recycling content from your blog can be a highly profitable strategy; however, if your technique for doing so is poor, you will pay for it with bad results.
Follow the guidelines I’ve outlined above and you should have no problem recycling your blog posts into content that will generate traffic and make sales.
Give Your Articles to Joint Venture Partners
If you have a joint venture partner who has agreed to promote your products, then it is wise to support that partner in whatever capacity you can.
One way in which you can do this is to provide them with free promotional materials, including your articles.
In addition to this, you may also want to offer to provide them with modified (or preferably, custom-tailored) versions of the blog, so that they can promote you through their blog, too.
ORGANIZE a Joint Venture
If you’ve been an Internet marketer for a while now, you’re probably familiar with the idea of joint venture partnerships. In fact, you may have even been involved with one or more JV partnerships in the past.
Not surprisingly, joint venture partnerships can also be used effectively to drive traffic to blogs; however, doing this correctly requires some thought and a good plan.
In the remainder of part 3, I will detail the 4 essential steps you must take if you want to maximize your chances of:
a) finding a joint venture partner,
b) convincing him or her to work with you,
c) having a successful outcome.
Let’s take a look at how...
Create a List of Prospective JV Partners
Remember: the sole purpose of finding a JV partner in this situation is to get traffic.
This means that group of people you’re looking for should:
a) have a means to drive a lot of traffic to your blog; and
b) be willing to do it.
Now, when it comes to finding a joint venture partner, things can get difficult. This is why I suggest that you start by creating a very broad list of potential partners. That way, when the inevitable rejections roll in, you won’t quickly run out of options and get discouraged.
When creating your list, you should always start by combing forums for potential partners. This works especially well if you already post on forums regularly and are well-established in certain forums.
To get started here, you should create a spreadsheet to keep track of potential JV partners. Jot down important notes, such as the URL of their site, their name, their niche, their email address, and their approachability on forums.
Once you have finished locating potential JV partners on forums, you can also look other places. For instance, you might look at websites in your niche and try to find the owner of the site through the “contact us” page.
Note: If you’re into this niche for quite some time, you can easily list top 5-10 authorities of the niche without doing any research. Honestly, these top names are the ones you should be going first.
At the end of this process, you should have a spreadsheet that contains detailed information for at least 10-20 potential JV partners. You should also sort it according to which partners look promising.
There are four important steps involved in any successful joint venture partnership.
These also apply to partnerships that are designed to generate blog traffic. When soliciting JV partners and working with them, keep the guidelines in mind that I’ve mentioned here.
If you do this, you’ll be sure to attract more partners; and complete more JVs successfully.
Come Up with a Pitch
Above all else, coming up with a good pitch is the most important part of finding a joint venture partner.
If you don’t do this part well, it will be all too easy for everyone you contact to decline your offer.
When writing your pitch, there are two important things to do.
- The first one is to put yourself in the position of your potential JV partner. Think about who that person is, what she does, and what she sells.
- The second thing you must do is think of something tangible and realistic that you can offer that person that she cannot reject.
As far as offers go, you have a lot of options:
- You can offer to let the person be a guest blogger for your blog.
- You can be a guest blogger on their blog and provide an exclusive content just for their blog readers.
- You can offer to give them a portion of the revenue you receive from advertising and sales related to the visitors they send you.
Draft a Plan
For each partner who agrees to work with you, you should draft an informal agreement. The purpose of this informal agreement is to ensure that all parties
involved with the joint venture have the same expectations of each other and of the outcome.
In this agreement, you should include the following:
1. An Event Timeline. This will detail what should happen in each phase of the project until it is completed. It will also specifically detail what each person should do.
2. A List of Desirable Outcomes. This will explain what each party hopes to get out of this venture, so that the other party understands this and can work towards it.
Once you have your plan ready, you are ready to begin the partnership.
Communicate with Your JV Partner(s)
drafted a plan, you’re ready to carry out the JV.
The only catch now is that you have to ensure that you continue working towards your goals; and that nothing goes wrong on either site of the JV.
In general, a good way to ensure that this is the case is to keep the lines of communication open. When you have questions for your partner, let her know. Also, let her know that she should feel free to tell you if anything isn’t going well on her side.
At the end of the day, if there’s a problem, you should correct it immediately, rather than letting it linger. And communicating with your partner through the project is the best way to do this.
MAKE Viral Content
At some point, you’ve probably heard about how important it is to use viral content to promote your blog. You've probably heard about how one report or video went viral and ended up eating thousands even hundreds of thousands of people.
In practice, making something go “viral” isn’t impossible, but it’s much harder than you might imagine after talking to the average Internet marketer.
In the rest of part 4, I will explain in detail the 5 essential steps you must take if you truly want your viral campaigns to be successful.
Do Your Homework
The most important part of any viral marketing campaign is to do your homework. This usually consists of doing two things:
1. Find out what made other viral campaigns in your niche successful. You’ll probably find that successful viral campaigns in your niche have some or all of these qualities:
- The viral content in question is completely free to access.
- The content is funny or controversial.
- The content doesn’t seem like an overt attempt to sell a product.
- The content is related to a current event or some important trend.
Additionally, there may be other important characteristics of viral content in your particular niche. For this reason, it is important (as the section title suggests) to do your homework.
Find out what it is that people in your niche will go wild for and will repost in other places.
2. Find out what it is that might go viral in your niche now. For instance, people in your niche might be willing to tell their friends about some or all of the following things:
- A step-by-step guide for something that everyone could benefit from doing, but can’t quite figure out how to do it correctly.
- A funny video that contains inside jokes about your niche.
- A free, 10-page guide that details a single money-making or marketing strategy that almost no one knows about.
Combining these two things, you can begin to think about good viral content topics.
Viral marketing campaigns are often hit or miss.
Either you get things right and the content promotes itself (and, your blog, in turn) or you get no traffic out of the deal; and simply need to move on.
However, there is a set of best practice guidelines you can follow to ensure that you maximize your chances of achieving success.
So follow what I have outlined above, remain patient, be flexible, and you should see your results improve over time.
Pick Your Platform
Now that you have some viral content ideas in mind, it is important to start thinking about the platform you will use to launch your campaign. For instance, will you:
- Create a viral video and post it on YouTube?
- Create a viral report and give it away through your blog?
- Create a rebrandable ebook and give it away to others for free?
- Use your affiliate page to distribute your viral reports?
These are all important questions to ask and to answer.
Before you can go any further with the product-planning phase, you must know what types of products you must create; and what platforms you believe will be best for implementing them.
Come Up with a Traffic Generation Plan
If you haven’t yet figured it out yet, it is critical that you determine how your proposed viral product will translate into traffic for your blog.
If you cannot do this now, it is unlikely that your product will do this by chance.
Here are some things you may want to do to ensure that your efforts generate traffic:
- Include permanent links in your rebrandable ebook that cannot be changed. These should either point directly at your blog or at your product pages.
- On your YouTube bio page, include a link to your blog. Also, at the bottom at each video and at the end of each video, include the URL of your blog, so that viewers know where to go.
- If you give away free reports, include multiple links to your blog to capture traffic from all those who read it.
Implement Your Plan
At this point, you know what type of product you’re going to create, what platform you will use, and how you will use it to generate traffic.
All you have to do now is create that viral content and then market it.
Of course, the content-creation part can be tricky. If you’re not a good video producer or writer, you might feel very limited in your options.
If this is the case, you should consider using a writer or producer from elance or rentacoder. At one of these sites, you should be able to find a professional who can create your content at a reasonable price.
Launch Your Viral Content
The point of a viral marketing campaign is that it promotes itself; however, if you don’t prime the pump and get at least a few people to look at your content then this process simply cannot get started.
For this reason, you should spend some time promoting your viral content through your blog and any websites you own. You should also consider sending a small stream of PPC traffic to it and commenting about it on forums and on blogs.
Once a sufficiently large group of people get access to your content, it should begin to promote itself if it is truly viral. Otherwise, you may need to discard that campaign and try a new viral piece of content.
OBTAIN A Guest Spot On A Blog
One of the best ways in which you can drive traffic to your normal blog is to showcase your talents elsewhere.
In particular, if you can find a way to demonstrate to others that you are capable of providing high-quality blog posts, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back to your blog and subscribe to your RSS feed.
It’s obvious, then, that a good way to get more visitors, commenters, and subscribers for your blog is to borrow someone else’s blog.
In the past, this wasn’t easy to do, but today it has become quite popular. I suggest that you use the following 3 strategies to become a guest blogger.
Pitch to High-Profile Bloggers
Many site owners and bloggers alike want good content. The problem is that good content is usually either time-consuming or expensive to produce.
Thus, they face a trade-off when it comes to providing high-quality content: they can either update the blog less frequently; or they can update it regularly, but do so at a cost (perhaps either not doing other things or paying someone to update it).
This is where YOU come in.
You can offer to provide a completely free blog entry, as long as you are able to list yourself as the “guest blogger.” Additionally, if possible, see if you can include a link to your normal blog at the end of your entry.
Of course, you will need to make an exceptionally compelling case for why the blogger should allow you to do this.
If you already have a high-quality blog and have spent time following and commenting on the blog whose owner you are attempting to solicit, then your chances of success are significantly higher.
Additionally, if you are flexible and are willing to accept whatever terms the blogger offers you, your chances of acceptance will also improve.
One of the better ways to drive traffic to your blog is to post as a “guest blogger” on someone else’s blog. While this may initially seem like it might be difficult to do, there are many viable strategies for tackling this challenge.
At least one of the three I covered in this article should work for you.
Look for “Guest Blogger” Opportunities
Occasionally, bloggers will attempt to actively solicit guest bloggers. For this reason, it is always a good idea to follow dozens of blogs through your RSS feed reader (and occasionally by visiting them), even if you have no plan to comment on 80% of them.
If you’re simply following the blogs, you’re already half-finished with the task. It’s now just a matter of capturing guest blogging opportunities as soon as they are presented.
So, next time you see a blogger mention that a new “guest blogger” position is open, email her and be sure to do the following:
- Casually mention things about her blog, so that she understands that you follow it regularly. This can be as simple as mentioning that you have followed it for months. You may also want to reference one of her previous posts to reinforce this point.
- Explain that you are an experienced blogger; and that you have a past record of success.
- Offer to provide additional samples of your work or to complete trial projects if required.
Overall, if you are polite and thoughtful with your letter and you make it a point to communicate that you have experience, that you understand the blog’s subject matter, and that you will do good work, you have a decent chance of being selected.
Offer to Do a One-Time Blog Exchange
If you’re having a hard time finding guest blogging opportunities, it may be a good idea to consider a guest blogging exchange instead. Here, you would allow someone else to post on your blog in exchange for being able to post on hers.
When using this approach, there are two rules to keep in mind:
- If you make this offer to a competing blog, only offer it if they have a larger readership. You don’t want to directly expose your blog visitors and commenters to a competing blog unless they can offer you something equal or better in exchange (i.e. access to a larger audience).
- Explicitly seek out blogs that complement your own.
Example: If your blog is about website design, but not search engine optimization, then consider seeking out an exchange with a SEO blogger. You could provide useful entries for each other’s blogs and possibly encourage visitors to come to both blogs without picking one over the other.
If you keep these two rules in mind, the only challenge you will face is finding bloggers willing to participate in the exchange.
However, if you look hard enough and send out enough emails, you should be successful.
© 2014 Martin Bergmann